There’s so much to do in the Outer Banks area. I discussed much of it in my last post. If you’re intrigued by the history of this isolated, beautiful area, you’ll definitely want to explore some of these areas.
Manteo is honestly one of the best places to dig deep if you enjoy history and/or mysteries. The island was the home of the Roanoke Colony, also known as the Lost Colony. Before the thirteen colonies existed, this would have been England’s first colony. Hundreds of men, women and children attempted to make a life here, with some assistance from the Native American population. What happened to the colonists here remains an unsolved mystery, although there are solid theories. So grab a book, watch the play of The Lost Colony, and most importantly visit the national park that houses a fabulous visitor’s center, Fort Raleigh Historic Site, the play and the can’t miss Elizabethan Gardens. Manteo also has a charming downtown with a beautiful waterfront to explore. It’s the closest you’ll get to a city feel in this area. And be sure to stop in the Bluegrass Theater shop for more free exhibits about the history of this area, including communities that have since been lost to history.
Manteo can easily fill a day or two or three – there are lots of places offering reenactments and other cool stuff – but now I will move on to some of the other places you may want to visit in the area.
Uncle Eddy’s Frozen Custard
Everyone loves a good ice cream or custard, right? And this ice cream blogger is happy to report that Eddy’s hard ice cream is delicious. And their soft-serve? It’s legitimately the best soft-serve I have ever had. There isn’t a lot to do in the area (Buxton) but it should be a destination. Play a game or two while you’re there. Seriously.
If you’re heading in the opposite direction to Nags ahead or Kill Devil Hills, you’ll want to stop at Scoops for your hard ice cream needs. Delicious, creative and homemade with outstanding staff. They also make an epic birthday cake!
Apparently fresh, made to order donuts are a thing. Seriously. (I honestly didn’t know.) This area has a few options, but this one is the best. Need a gluten-free or vegan donut? Come here for an outstanding one. But call a day ahead to reserve it as the vegan and gluten-free are not made on site. Donut sundae, with their homemade chocolate chip or vanilla? Yes, please!
While donuts should be on your list, don’t miss the rest of the town! There’s a phenomenal walkway along the sound that connects you to everything from an adorable chapel to shopping to free yoga and music during the summer. This would be our top destination if we returned for a vacation and wanted to be within walking distance to both the beach and all sorts of other fun stuff. Making a day trip? Get there early to park and plan to walk around. Traffic here is pretty crazy!
They’re a chain, apparently, and much of the seafood isn’t local. But if an all-you-can-eat buffet appeals, or if you want lots of fresh, made to order gluten-free options, don’t miss this.
Known for its beaches and its proximity to the wild horse population, this area is isolated and tiny – not even incorporated – but it has some charming history and wildlife. One day is plenty to see it all if you’re on a limited time table.
There are four beautiful lighthouses – plus a baby one – with lots of history to them on the Outer Banks. You can walk to the top of all but one of them too. We’ve enjoyed discovering the history of them here.
Next on our list, we have three more destinations. The Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk, the Life-Saving Station Museum, and probably a further exploration of the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge trail. Anything we’ve missed? Anything here on your bucket list?
Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!